Energy, Poverty and the Market: The CSR Strategy of Coelce in Brazil
This case aims to address the issues of Sustainable Development (SD) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in emergent countries. More specifically, the case focuses on one of the major industries in the SD debate (the energy industry) in one of the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil). This case stimulates discussion on two topics: poverty (its consequences in terms of development in an emergent country) and strategic CSR (a specific kind of CSR in which companies integrate social and environmental causes in their strategic plans to create competitive advantages). We study the case of Coelce (energy company in Brazil), a subsidiary of the Spanish multinational corporation. The case starts in 2006, when Coelce faced the following dilemma: How can Coelce be socially and environmentally innovative to conquer new clients and guarantee profitability? We show the Ecoelce project and how it has allowed Ecoelce's managers to achieve this goal by adopting a strategic CSR approach.
This case aims to demonstrate how a company in one of the most important industries related to sustainable development (energy industry) develops a project to adopt a strategic corporate social responsibility approach in an emerging country (Brazil). As such, the case highlights decisions related to strategy, innovation, sustainability, integrated supply chain, public policy and community and stakeholder management relations.